“Abortion safety laws make it “more dangerous for the black woman’s body.” Republican lawmakers “want kids to die.” Conservatives “are trying to take the U.S. hostage” and hope to “destroy our public school system.”
According to Ben Smith, a student at UNC Chapel Hill, that’s just a sample of the highly-charged rhetoric that invades U Chapel Hill at weekly meetings of a group called “Scholars’ for North Carolina’s Future, a group of secular-progressive college professors who have helped lead, along with the NAACP and AFL-CIO, weekly ‘Moral Monday’ protests at the state capitol over the last several months.”
Writing in The College Fix, Smith noted that since their vitriol is also spewed on other days of the week, this movement has become somewhat of a “spectacle in North Carolina, with liberal activists using it as a platform to rally against the Republican-held majority in the General Assembly and its approval of issues such as voter-ID laws and fiscal responsibility on public education.”
At one of the recent meetings, some of them “openly bragged about their arrests, fights with cops, and the help with legal entanglements they’ve received from the NAACP. More than 900 arrests have occurred since the protests launched in April.”
“As the audience – a mostly white, elderly group – waited for the meeting to begin, they also talked with impassioned contempt about conservatives. About a dozen students attended the event, which was heavily publicized in the Gender Studies and Journalism departments.
“The lack of minorities in the audience, less than 10, was astonishing for a group so entwined with the Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP.”
The meeting appeared to be a parade of professors, such as Dr. Charles van der Horst, talking about their arrests. Van der Horst, a communicable diseases specialist and a professor of medicine at UNC, is a devotee of President Obama, who “claimed Republicans are waging a war on the working class by denying benefits under Obamacare.”
“Imagine a city,” he said, ‘where there are half a million people. How many must die of strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, HIV, AIDS before the (assembly) let us have our federal money?’”
“They (the assembly) are fiscally nutty. They cut down the poverty rate for receiving benefits … They want kids to die, and they are harming my patients. That is why I got arrested,” he said, adding that “The people in the legislature are so regressive. They are trying to push us back to the tribalism we see in modern-day Africa.”
However, Ben Smith reported that the reason police have arrested demonstrators is because “they trespass into roped-off areas of the statehouse. Instead of taking their complaints to lawmakers the old fashioned way, they storm the rotunda.”
The last panelist on the agenda was historian Nancy MacLean, who argued that “the destruction of North Carolina occurred when ‘Cato, ALEC, the Koch Brothers, Milton Friedman, Art Pope and his right-wing Civitas group, along with racial conservatives in the south and economic libertarians in the north, came together to destroy our public school system.” She then railed against the “free market system,’” a move that actually prompted laughter from the crowd.